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  1. seems to me that a better objective would be for people to have the tools to sort the wheat from the chaff themselves

    Comment by David Wilson — 24 Oct 2006 @ 6:03 AM

  2. And about time too. Some of those sites I’ve gone to, are so way off beam that they are off planet in their ‘thinking’ if that’s what you can call it.

    Comment by Will Glenn — 24 Oct 2006 @ 6:08 AM

  3. I think it would be great if the site hosted a list of websites being searched?

    Comment by Mark UK — 24 Oct 2006 @ 6:33 AM

  4. So this is cherry picking from sites that support your view? Make sure your users clearly know this!

    [Response:It’s not cherry picking, but a kind of quality rubber stamp. Here you can be fairly safe that the contents have some quality, but you can always use other search engines if you want to a wider search. -rasmus]

    Comment by Dave Ireland — 24 Oct 2006 @ 6:50 AM

  5. re: 4. Scientific results from the IPCC are in no way whatsoever “a view”.

    Comment by Dan — 24 Oct 2006 @ 6:56 AM

  6. Re #5 re: 4. Scientific results from the IPCC are in no way whatsoever “a view”.
    How do you keep ‘selected’ data from being a view?

    Comment by Jack Kelly — 24 Oct 2006 @ 7:30 AM

  7. Provided that you disclose to searchers that the results are only a limited subset of the opinion on the matter, I don’t see any problem with this. I do see some irony though – you are complaining about the growing amount of information on the web from those who do not have bits of paper to show off to other people, but your site is powered by WordPress which is one of the primary innovations responsible for this ‘problem’.

    Comment by David Russell — 24 Oct 2006 @ 7:44 AM

  8. Isn’t that the point of scientific peer reviews? If only political decisions were peer reviewed by qualified individuals instead of those who just have money or talk loudest!

    Comment by David Jackson — 24 Oct 2006 @ 7:51 AM

  9. Re#6: “How do you keep ‘selected’ data from being a view?”
    Common sense helps a lot here:
    Select the data blindly (disregarding any preferred view on the results), according to objective criteria selected before the selection, and look at the outcome afterwards.

    Comment by Florifulgurator — 24 Oct 2006 @ 7:59 AM

  10. Important studies have been done in situations where it was not possible to have true peer review, especially by scientists working under government supervision.


    Comment by Pat N (Removed NWS Hydrologist) — 24 Oct 2006 @ 8:17 AM

  11. I share concerns that a broader based climate search engine than just the scientific findings are necessary to solve the climate change crises. In fact, such a resource already exists at the Climate Ark. This is the original, all inclusive biocentric climate change search engine.

    Comment by Glen Barry — 24 Oct 2006 @ 8:35 AM

  12. Add EdGCM!

    Comment by mankoff — 24 Oct 2006 @ 9:05 AM

  13. You guys should have a look at Cass Sunstein’s Republic.Com

    An excerpt:

    “In particular, a well-functioning system of free expression must meet two distinctive requirements.

    First, people should be exposed to materials that they would not have chosen in advance. Unplanned, unanticipated encounters are central to democracy itself. Such encounters often involve topics and points of view that people have not sought out and perhaps find quite irritating. They are important partly to ensure against fragmentation and extremism, which are predictable outcomes of any situation in which like-minded people speak only with themselves. I do not suggest that government should force people to see things that they wish to avoid. But I do contend that in a democracy deserving the name, people often come across views and topics that they have not specifically selected.

    Second, many or most citizens should have a range of common experiences. Without shared experiences, a heterogeneous society will have a much more difficult time in addressing social problems. People may even find it hard to understand one another. Common experiences, emphatically including the common experiences made possible by the media, provide a form of social glue. A system of communications that radically diminishes the number of such experiences will create a number of problems, not least because of the increase in social fragmentation. . .

    What I will also suggest is that there are serious dangers in a system in which individuals bypass general interest intermediaries and restrict themselves to opinions and topics of their own choosing. In particular, I will emphasize the risks posed by any situation in which thousands or perhaps millions or even tens of millions of people are mainly listening to louder echoes of their own voices. A situation of this kind is likely to produce far worse than mere fragmentation.”

    And if you want to read more:

    [Response: This is well put and I fully agree – but we are not talking about picking opinions that we happen to like, we are talking about quality control. I read the newspaper every day (I guess that’s what is meant with “general interest intermediaries”) exactly because I want to be confronted with information that I have not picked myself, but that has been selected by an editor. But I read a quality newspaper, because I have limited time and I want to spend it on reading information that is reliable and well-researched. Thus I want the editors of my newspaper to have high professional standards when it comes to fact-checking, selecting what is relevant, etc.

    I also like to read scientific papers because they fulfill certain quality standards, not because their contents agree with my prior belief (in contrast – those that challenge prior beliefs are of course far more interesting and will be much more widely read – if their quality is good). Journal editors and peer review are part of the system to insure those standards.

    The internet is mostly lacking quality control, and as the information grows exponentially, the need to quickly find reliable sources is growing fast. Some people may have time to read industry lobby websites on global warming – and if that’s what they like, that’s fine and they are easy to find. But many people want to know first-hand what the scientists working in this field think, rather than what spin doctors make of it, and it is for these people that we try to provide a service.

    We link to IPCC because IPCC is a high-quality source of information, compiled by leading researchers in the field after thorough discussion and rigorously peer-reviewed – not because IPCC agrees with us. In fact it is the other way round: I agree with IPCC on most (but not all) issues, because the scientific evidence is simply very strong, so after initial scepticism about anthropogenic warming I have become convinced by this evidence. -Stefan]

    Comment by Roger Pielke, Jr. — 24 Oct 2006 @ 9:22 AM

  14. Just for fun, I typed “hockey stick” in your search window. First three outcomes are a BBC piece, a very-very-skeptic page and, well, a dealer of sport equipments.

    Now I am a little confused. Perhaps I did something wrong? If extreme views (well, at least the title was extreme, I didn’t really read that web page carefully) and non-relevant sites can do it through the search engine, what’s its purpose then?

    To be completely honest, since I don’t know exactly the criteria under your search engine, I won’t use it if I want to build an opinion of my own, but I admit it might be useful for quick, focused searches. The engine at Climate Ark, however, was able to get rid of sport dealers, at least in the topmost results.

    Comment by Nereo Preto — 24 Oct 2006 @ 10:38 AM

  15. its a very innovative step taken by Google..

    Comment by Parikshit — 24 Oct 2006 @ 10:40 AM

  16. The google search is a double edge sword. I have on many occasions used an RC query link for the word “myth” as a standard mythbuster for Chriton, volcanos, ect.

    The search now returns some interesting stuff but it’s too broad for use as a general climate mythbuster. I know google can restrict searches by domain name, can we please have two buttons, one for an RC only search and one for the new google search, please, can we, pretty please :)

    [Response: We will try and get this done with buttons – it shouldn’t be too tricky, but html skills are not our strongest suit! In the meantime, you can hack an RC-only searches using“SEARCH TERM”&submit=Search where ‘SEARCH TERM’ should be replaced with you desired search term. -gavin]

    Comment by Alan — 24 Oct 2006 @ 10:41 AM

  17. Re: #14

    I’ll second the request for two search buttons, one for RC only, the other for the new google search.

    Re: #13

    I agree that it’s quite important for people to be exposed to contrary ideas and opinions; otherwise we are in even greater danger from “what we think we know, that just ain’t so.” I’m guessing that the motivation for the new search feature is not to stifle dissent or radical thinking, but simply to eliminate *garbage*. So I hope the RC moderators will be extremely liberal in their inclusion of sites with alternate viewpoints, rejecting suggested sites only when their “junk” status is beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Comment by Grant — 24 Oct 2006 @ 10:53 AM

  18. Sorry to post twice in a row but it just occured to me:

    How can people logically argue that RC might somehow be in danger of falling into a “group think” mentality by broadening the search results? I mean the old search function only returned results from RC, so why all the hand wringing about democracy when the results now include other relevant sites?

    Comment by Alan — 24 Oct 2006 @ 10:56 AM

  19. Re 9, 6, 5 and 4: I think the point here is to select “science” and not a “view.” Essentially, weeded out the view and exposing people to sound science and statistics whatever the results may be.

    Comment by A Fritz — 24 Oct 2006 @ 11:55 AM

  20. i like Google’s and others attempts to make the more technical information more readily understandable and available. however, i am pessimistic about being able to do this in any automated way.

    while David Wilson’s “separating the wheat from the chaff” may or may not mean separating scientific results based upon their policy implications, if he does mean separating based upon policy implications, that’s a shabby level of evaluation. indeed, nothing will serve as well as going to the original papers and struggling to understand them, where necessary using their references to do so. it’s standard library research, backed up by a good scientific and mathematical education. there’ no shortcutting that. and ideology is the worst way of doing it if it is done. laziness is a far better criterion.

    IMO there’s too much of an idea that “truth” can somehow be arrived at by collecting a bunch of “expert opinions” or even “opinions” and voting. yeah, i know, i’m saying juries are terrible ways of obtaining determinations of guilt or innocence. i think there’s been more than one assessment of juries from a perspective of statistical decision making that comes to the same conclusion.

    with respect to climate, for policy to be rationally made, it will need to be based upon a consideration of economic risks wedded to probable outcomes. but i somehow think many don’t care about the nuances of reality, preferring to safeguard their own economic interests and those of what they perceive to be the corporate United States.

    Comment by Jan Theodore Galkowski — 24 Oct 2006 @ 12:01 PM

  21. Might I suggest, or request, my blog for consideration into this search ability? It’s called “Head in a Cloud”, at The discussion is on scientific matters related to clouds, not climate wars. I generally try to distill relevant and contemporary papers in the scientific literature in a way that scientists and interested people can understand the articles without pouring over the gory details.

    Comment by Sean D — 24 Oct 2006 @ 12:07 PM


    We are all Doomed im telling you

    Comment by pete best — 24 Oct 2006 @ 12:24 PM

  23. I really hope that Real Climate will add Glen Barry’s ambitious, excellent, info-packed Climate Ark. Glen was ahead of the climate curve when he started Climate Ark years ago, and he makes great effort to keep its info base abreast of the times..o

    Comment by Lance Olsen — 24 Oct 2006 @ 12:28 PM

  24. Back to the Future.

    Remember Global Cooling?
    Why scientists find climate change so hard to predict.
    Oct. 23, 2006 – In April, 1975, in an issue mostly taken up with stories about the collapse of the American-backed government of South Vietnam, NEWSWEEK published a small back-page article about a very different kind of disaster. Citing “ominous signs that the earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically,” the magazine warned of an impending “drastic decline in food production.” Political disruptions stemming from food shortages could affect “just about every nation on earth.” Scientists urged governments to consider emergency action to head off the terrible threat of . . . well, if you had been following the climate-change debates at the time, you’d have known that the threat was: global cooling.

    [Response: Try reading to the end of the article:

    The point to remember, says Connolley, is that predictions of global cooling never approached the kind of widespread scientific consensus that supports the greenhouse effect today. And for good reason: the tools scientists have at their disposal now—vastly more data, incomparably faster computers and infinitely more sophisticated mathematical models—render any forecasts from 1975 as inoperative as the predictions being made around the same time about the inevitable triumph of communism.

    – gavin]

    Comment by lars — 24 Oct 2006 @ 12:53 PM

  25. I think few of the commenters critical of the new search engine can ever have tried to help ordinary citizens find valid information on the internet. I have produced several guidance documents for local citizens as part of a 3-year effort to block a new coal plant in Gainesville, Florida*. Identifying good sites with credible content comprehensible to the non-scientist is extremely time-consuming. Only those who have tried to do it can have any idea of how the “skeptics” dominate the web. The last thing one should do is tell the lay person to do an ordinary google search on global warming.

    My most recent list of useful sites is about a year old, and full of caveats, because so many federal government sites had either trimmed their sails to comply with administration policy, or simply not updated anything since 2001.

    So I strongly applaud RealClimate’s iniative.

    D. Deevey

    *I think we are close to victory locally, though the picture in the whole state is pretty depressing.

    Comment by Dian Deevey — 24 Oct 2006 @ 1:20 PM

  26. I think it is a great idea, as finding reliable information can be very hard.

    Comment by Bolton — 24 Oct 2006 @ 2:36 PM

  27. RealClimate, like any contribution to the global warming fight is welcomed. It, like Ecological Internet, uses the principle of a database of scientifically approved sites as the bases of it’s full text searches. This gives a much more targeted search then the “whole web” type Goggle engine. Ecological Internet is still the only engine that combines this with a taxonomic classification of resources links and a data warehouse of public domain news. The volumes of data going back over the last seven years gives results even though the original sources have long since removed the content from their sites and archives. Climate Ark is concerned with policy and advocacy as well as science. A far better search engine aleady exists.

    Comment by Matt — 24 Oct 2006 @ 2:56 PM

  28. As a search engine founder I completely disagree with this notion in which a search engine provides selective search results. The evolution of search specifically on the web is based on its unprecedented broad access to the information either it has scientific basis or not. However the existing ranking logics behind search engines are good enough to avoid a bogus/spam site or page. If we don’t follow this rule then it would be better stop calling this a search function or a search engine.

    Check climate search and its relevant keywords on RSSMicro:

    RSSMicro Founder

    Comment by Babak — 24 Oct 2006 @ 4:49 PM

  29. heh I don’t like this. The last search engine had some serious flaws but those were limited to faulty regular expressions. Google Co-op has wonderful regular expressions but it’s absolutely horrible at sorting the data. For instance the last search engine would separate the hits in the main entries from the comments. Google co-op does not distinguish between the two.

    I did a quick search. It had 8 pages of hits and the realclimate entries are spread out randomly over the 8 pages. So not only do I have to sift through 8 pages of mostly irrelevant crap but I have to figure out which hits are comments and which hits are from an article. Switching over to google co-op is a very very bad idea. It’s a royal pain in the rear and I’m far more likely to use a “xxxxx” in google than this crap.

    Feel free to display both search engines on your site but limiting your users to just this method will really hamper your readership base.

    Comment by wacki — 24 Oct 2006 @ 5:05 PM

  30. It seems rather like the Google News server, which allows one to search news outlets over the past few months. Not a bad idea at all and potentially very useful.

    Still, when it comes to researching a scientific topic, the tried and true method is to find and read the most recent and authoritative reviews in the field and flip through their lists of references. The journals, Science, Nature and Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS) are good places to start searching, and they often contain very readable perspectives and summaries as well that can point to interesting papers and reviews. However, this can be a difficult and lengthly process, and you’ll probably need to have a few textbooks at hand to make sense of concepts and jargon – but that’s the traditional ‘literature search’.

    For those who want to just search through for a particular topic, such as clouds, you can go to Google and and type in the search box “ clouds radiative forcing”, for example – that comes up with 425 hits.

    If you do the search, “ clouds radiative forcing” you’ll get 193 hits – most of them from the ‘climate skeptic’ perspective (the models are wrong, the data is wrong, “impressive correlations with solar forcing”, “the reliance of the multi-decadal climate predictions to provide accurate forecasts is further shown to be unjustified” etc.)

    Do the same with “ clouds radiative forcing” and you get 48 hits (all claiming that CO2 emmissions are inconsequential – it’s a fossil fuel site). Thus, the “site:” search tool can help you quickly figure out what a given web site is all about.

    Faced with such differences, it’s always good to refer back to the peer-reviewed journals – which tend to support the conclusions.

    [Response: … and there is a very useful tool to quickly find scientific articles on any topic: try You can see how often each paper has been cited (at least approximately), giving you an idea how relevant other scientists find it. And you can search for all papers by a certain author – very good for journalists who want to check in 2 minutes whether an “expert” on something is really an expert, i.e. someone who has a good track record of relevant scientific publications. -stefan]

    Comment by Ike Solem — 24 Oct 2006 @ 5:09 PM

  31. I have to admit that the present search facility does give a curiously skewed view of the web. I typed in the evil word “climateaudit” and got ONLY links to realclimate postings. Even if it is believed that climateaudit contains absolutely nothing of value, isn’t the site sufficiently significant for us to (at least) be told where to find it?

    Comment by John Hunter — 24 Oct 2006 @ 5:11 PM

  32. Bloke from Freinds of the Earth on the Radio last night been grilled by radio presenter. Basically stated that out of the 2 C temp rise that is currently predicted and likely, 1/3 of it is already here (0.7 c) with another 0.7 C in the pipeline due to latencies and the other 0.7 C likely due to no evidence of emission restrictions been seen at present. The radio presenter was incredulous that the only answer that this bloke had (he has the Governments ear on solutions to CO2 emissions) was taxation that victimises the weak and that we would be better to adapt to climate change rather than try and solve it which he sees as being a hopeless quest anyway due to the eastern empires coming online very quickly and burning of coal being the name of the game.

    Trouble is that when it comes solutions and opinions on what do to about climate change there are many opinions and who knows who is right and what solutions can work. We are all just whistling in the wind at the moment. If we take projected ff fuel use into the future then we will have doubled the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from present levels by 2100. Another 200 billion tonnes to make 1 trillion tonnes of free Co2 in the atmosphere.

    Doomed and the press and media makes no difference because politically we are frozen because technological solutions do not exist presently.

    Comment by pete best — 24 Oct 2006 @ 5:35 PM

  33. Could google new idea in deciding which sites are categorised and which sites aren’t be a further attempt in censoring information? I know that they have made a recent agreement with China to have exclusive rights over what sites are deemed fit for its citizens. The Chinese Govt are using this as a propaganda tool. I think it’s very dangerous and people should continue searching independantly and sharing info with each other on which sites are worth visiting. Come on surely we don’t need google to dictate to us which sites are good or bad. I know it seems like an attractive offer to you at realclimate but your site can attract visitors without this.

    [Response:I think it’s correct (according to NYT) that search engines in China have blocked certain sites/themes, and I agree that is of great concern. But, let’s not mix issues up. In China, I suppose, there are no other sources of information. Our case is different. If I may, I’d use the analogy with an encyclopedia (in the olden days). In the encyclopedia, I’d expect that the editors have quality controlled the information (I suppose Wikipedia is different, but the argument works for the old days…), and filtered out garbage-information. This makes the encyclopedia useful if you want to look up information. But, if the literary world was just limited to this encyclopedia, then that would be sad indeed. Fortunately, there is a wealth of books, and there are other Internet search engines, so this does, in my opinion, therefore not count as censorship. -rasmus]

    Comment by kristine — 24 Oct 2006 @ 5:39 PM

  34. Q1: What websites does RealClimate use in their specialized Google search?
    Q2: Is there a standard way to look up which sites are being searched or are they forever hidden from the user?

    (As for Q1, I *could* just take a look at some of the search results I get from RealClimate’s special Google search. However, (1)this is tiresome and (2) I could miss some websites in my examination of the results.)

    Comment by SKA — 24 Oct 2006 @ 5:46 PM

  35. I like the new search feature. I typed in “brewer dobson” and got many relevant responses. Previously I only got the RC posts which are few (which surprised me!).

    I like the idea of two search buttons that clearly distinguished which sites they are searching and, perhaps, a link to list of sites included in the Google Co-op search.

    Comment by Jim Cross — 24 Oct 2006 @ 6:48 PM

  36. Re: #16
    Google has the ability built in to all its searches to be site specific.

    In the Search field type “myth” and you will get what you are looking for. You can even do it for only top level domains for example “myth site:edu” for eduational sites or “myth site:au” for australian sites.

    Comment by Allister — 24 Oct 2006 @ 7:22 PM

  37. Gavin is quoted on BBC’s website ( with respect to the new Google search capability

    “Unfortunately, since this topical subject has become rather politicised, the quality of information available on the web is very variable.”

    The article goes on to say: ‘The custom engine on [RealClimate]’s website only searches pages that have been scrutinised by climate scientists and are deemed to provide “solid and reliable information”.’

    Comment by TAC — 24 Oct 2006 @ 7:56 PM

  38. Of the two sins, vetting sites to improve efficacy is far better than retrieving willy-nilly the babblings of the uninformed.

    Comment by Jeff Cowell — 24 Oct 2006 @ 8:06 PM

  39. Please alter your search facility so that users can choose between 2 options – one option for an unvetted search for intelligent people who want to see both sides of the debate, and alternate hypotheses, and are capable of making up their own minds in a scientific fashion, and another option for people who are so stupid that they would actually want to search for sites that state exactly the same point of view already expressed on this site – and who automatically accept anything they read without question as long as it contains the word “science” – in a fashion that is entirely unscientific.

    Comment by Common Sense — 24 Oct 2006 @ 10:20 PM

  40. But what of policy and advocacy issues? Is science alone going to solve climate change?

    Comment by Sam Roberts — 24 Oct 2006 @ 10:26 PM

  41. RE #35

    An elegant fix, thanks!

    Comment by Alan — 25 Oct 2006 @ 2:20 AM

  42. Speaking of Common Sense… how about just going straight to google and doing whatever you choose there?

    Comment by Coby — 25 Oct 2006 @ 2:46 AM

  43. I get Sun Microsystems and Sun newspaper as first results when searching for “Sun”…. These subjects really don’t have anything to do with climate or anything… :|

    [Response: You did not use our search function. The first results are all about sun earth connections… – gavin]

    Comment by Kazz — 25 Oct 2006 @ 4:07 AM

  44. Wot no!

    Seriously though, looks fine, especially when you’re looking for data and not opinions.

    Comment by Andy Mayhew — 25 Oct 2006 @ 5:20 AM

  45. Off topic, but perhaps a useful suggestion.

    Regulars here often refer to previous posts by number (Re: #xx). But sometimes the numbers *change* between the original post and the reply. Perhaps there is merit in designing the system so that the numbers don’t change. If a numbered post is deemed inappropriate and therefore removed, it could be simply replaced with a note that “Comment #xx deleted due to …” (ad hominem, spam, incomprehensibility, etc.)

    Just a thought.

    [Response: It’s because some comments get caught by the filters and it takes time for us to get round to screening them through. They keep their place in the number queue so that comments below get shifted down. We’ve thought about how to adjust this (comment threads for instance), but the practicalities seem more confusing than helpful. Sorry.. – gavin]

    Comment by Grant — 25 Oct 2006 @ 11:00 AM

  46. This is a nice feature. I do enjoy ClimateArk’s search already.

    How about a listing of which site are included in the Search, and then, with some explanation, which site are specifically NOT included in the Search? i.e the scientific reasoning involved?

    Comment by Ed Arnold-Berkovits — 25 Oct 2006 @ 11:07 AM

  47. People will gripe about anything. If you feel that you need to see Penis Enlargement pages in your search results, feel free to go to any numbers of search engines and enjoy sorting through the junk.

    If you prefer focused and localized search functionality from a site you respect, you’ll enjoy using the search info created by the Google application.

    The problem isn’t the technology. The problem is the user-end not being able to make their own decisions when it comes to implementing/using said technology. You have tools at hand folks. Use them or leave them. A very easy choice to make.

    Comment by Craig — 25 Oct 2006 @ 12:11 PM

  48. Hey Gavin or Stefan, how about dedicate some of your precious time to answer all the questions about WHICH sites are included in the search? Is it really such a tall order? Please?

    [Response: I’m at a meeting this week and only sneaking looks at this in between talks. Issues like the list of sites and the search choice will be dealt with when I get back (next week sometime). Thanks for all the comments- they are being assimilated…. – gavin]

    Comment by SKA — 25 Oct 2006 @ 12:21 PM

  49. I’d like it if I could also search just realclimate. At the very least the RC pages should be grouped at the top of the results. This kind of search is half-way to having a directory, which may be more useful.
    I suspect many people will also use the â??fullâ?? Google. I usually end up having at least two browsers open at a time when on the web. One is a search engine.

    Comment by Jay Furneaux — 25 Oct 2006 @ 12:56 PM

  50. Following your example I’ve built a custom search for the Philadelphia region based upon our our extensive blogroll:

    I havn’t finished the refinements yet, but it’s very very powerful for what it is as it stands.

    Note that the search bar to use is the one on the left, in the main rail of the site, not the upper right hand corner site search, which I will wire later.

    Comment by Karl Martino — 25 Oct 2006 @ 1:22 PM


    Celebs Who Claim They’re Green but Guzzle Gas
    Foreign Secretary calls for ‘global warming’ tax on holidaymakers'global+warming'+tax+on+holidaymakers/
    Gore scoffs at Reichert’s stance on global warming

    Comment by lars — 25 Oct 2006 @ 1:23 PM

  52. Overall I think it’s a good idea. I agree with some of the early comments that the sites need to not be too filtered. Personally, since I have an academic background in climatology, I tend look for stuff in the peer-reviewed journals only and shy away from blog type web sites (RC is the exception!). Plus, I no longer have access to the “Web of Science”, so the RC search function seems to be pretty handy. (For those who don’t know…Web of Science is a search engine available at many universities and libraries for searching academic journals.)

    To test the “fairness” of the search engine and selected sites…I put in “Patrick J. Michaels” and “Geophysical Research Letters”. I got the result I was looking for, so I’m happy that it’s not cherry picked but QC’ed. (Note…not implying any endorsement of Dr Michaels research…just an example! )

    Good job guys!

    Comment by Royce Fontenot — 25 Oct 2006 @ 2:50 PM

  53. Re #49 – It is easy to restrict your search:

    As an example, try:
    solar cosmic rays

    If the providers of this website want to make it really easy they could have two search boxes though –
    “The internet – filtered”, and
    “This site”
    This is actually a good idea. A fair assumption on most websites is that the local “search” applies to this site. It also advertises that the overall search of the internet is filtered.

    Comment by Tas — 26 Oct 2006 @ 2:55 AM

  54. People need to be passionate about global warming. This is not research it’s our world.

    We must act strongly to restrict ourselves in travel, having kids and buying products, to live with less and let others know they must do the same. Google searches will not give us the answers, we already know what they are.

    Comment by Pat Neuman — 26 Oct 2006 @ 8:25 AM

  55. The beauty of search engines is that the user has the comfort of knowing that the information found is not filtered the way it is “normally” received through all other media (Network TV, Cable, Print, Radio, etc.)

    I use a search engine when I don’t want to be manipulated.

    “We don’t need no thought control.” -Pink Floyd

    Comment by BPH Sacto — 26 Oct 2006 @ 12:50 PM

  56. For people who wanted searches that are not too filtered:

    Regular Google, and Google scholar are still right where you left them not to mention all the other search engines. The point of RC creating a filtered engine is to limit results to sites RC thinks have valid or useful information. You don’t want RC filtering, don’t use their filtered search engine.

    BTW, if you want to search ONLY RC with plain old google – just follow your search terms with “”.

    For example to search for “water vapor” on RC, you would type

    “water vapor” in the google search box (omitting the quotes).

    You could search for the exact phrase “water vapor” by putting quotes around it.

    Comment by Gar Lipow — 26 Oct 2006 @ 1:08 PM

  57. Search engines do commonly apply selection criteria – otherwise they would all result in the same hits, right? Google has, if they choose to apply it, immense power over information in the world. I think it’s scary that everyone uses it.

    Allthough the intention is good, I don’t think including a search engine that searches outside the RC site is that great an idea. At least it should default to searches only within RC.

    Papers are reviewed using a certain procedure. A stamp on a web site is IMO not a great idea because the content may change and thus the stamp would be continuously re-evaluated to reflect the current contents of the site. Also, who evaluates the sites? Are they independent of the organizers of RC?

    Comment by Ilkka Nissilä — 26 Oct 2006 @ 1:34 PM

  58. Without a doubt Simon Weart’s web site at is great. He is the author of the Discovery of Global Warming (Harvard University press). Weart is a physicist and a historian. His book is a very good introduction to this subject.

    This is a good initiative on your (RC) part. For those who disagree with the filtering process, let me just say this: we don’t have any time to waste with “opinions” that are not scientifically based. We need to hear from the experts not amateurs.

    Comment by Normand Chevrier — 26 Oct 2006 @ 3:11 PM

  59. Re #43

    Same for me. Perhaps the new search doesn’t work outside the US?

    Comment by Henk Lankamp — 26 Oct 2006 @ 5:10 PM

  60. Seems a good idea as its not all about making money, you got to think about the user and helping them by giving a more targed search which is better than searching all of google and getting sites thats not what your looking for.

    Comment by Daniel — 26 Oct 2006 @ 7:53 PM

  61. Re: 54 Standoff with Police Occurs at NOAA Headquarters

    The Ladders, Then and Now, and Abbie and Ellie

    On Monday I was arrested after being perched with Paul Burman for four hours on a foot and a half wide ledge about 25 feet up over the
    main entrance to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in Silver Spring, Md. We had unfurled a banner which said, “Bush: Let NOAA Tell the Truth.” This was a reference to the actions since 2001 of Bush-appointed NOAA Administrator Conrad Lautenbacher and his political proteges. They have been consistently
    towing the Bush/Cheney line of denying the seriousness of global heating and suppressing NOAA scientists whose research shows otherwise.

    As I said in a statement distributed on Monday, “we must act to preserve our threatened environment, we must provide hope to our children and grandchildren and we must do our duty as American citizens. Those of us who understand the depth of the crisis we are
    entering must face our fears and take action commensurate with that understanding.”

    (More information on this action and the issues can be found at .)

    It was hard,

    the first time,

    climbing 25 feet

    up our


    32-foot extension ladder,

    practicing behind

    the CCAN building

    the Friday before

    the Monday action.

    Before this action

    I had a fear of heights,

    perhaps the result

    of falling from a pear tree

    as a kid,

    hitting my head

    on a ladderâ??

    on a ladderâ??

    knocked out unconscious,

    coming to

    on my couch at home

    with my dear motherâ??

    My late mother,

    my mother who loved me,

    who sacrificed for me,

    who gave me an example

    of what Micah meant

    when he said,

    “And what does God

    require of you

    but to do justice,

    and to love kindness,

    and to walk humbly with your God.”

    –With my dear mother

    there to take me

    to the hospital

    for an overnight stay

    for my one day’s concussion.

    I’ve been afraid

    of high places

    ever since.

    So that first time,

    practicing on the ladder,

    I needed another emotion

    to overcome,

    or at least neutralize,

    that fear.

    And so,

    as I climbed up

    and climbed down

    those 25 feet,

    again and again and again,

    I thought of Abbie,

    my four year old niece,

    and I thought of Ellie,

    her 1 ½ year old sister,

    whom I spent a weekend with

    two months ago,

    a wonderful time watching,

    playing and laughing with,

    thanks to my father

    who organized

    a weekend lakeside reunion

    for his three children

    and their families.

    But their world is threatened.

    It is an open question,

    at best,

    if they will have a future

    worth living for,

    worth living in.

    I believe this deeply.

    And so I climbed,

    rung by rung, over and over,

    until my fear

    was lessened

    so that,

    on Monday morning,

    as the skies lightened,

    and the hour arrived,

    I was ready to ascend

    to the NOAA ledge.

    And for four hours

    I felt not scared

    but liberatedâ??

    almost at home,

    where I should be,

    with brother Paul Burman,

    as underneath us,

    and with news helicopters flying overhead,

    the drama unfolded.

    Where I should be,

    where others should be,


    if we are to prevent

    looming climate catastrophe,

    If we are to create

    a new and hopeful world.

    I believe such a world is possible.

    And we cannot let our fears

    keep us from doing

    what is necessaryâ??

    whatever is necessaryâ??

    to get to it.

    Abbie and Ellie,

    Children everywhere,

    Future generations

    Need us now.


    Comment by Pat Neuman — 26 Oct 2006 @ 8:29 PM

  62. Re Grant’s question and Gavin’s explanation in the earlier comment at

    11:00 am

    — that’s one way to refer to previous postings avoiding the unreliable and changing ‘posting number’ problem.
    When I point to that and ‘copy link’ and paste it in, it looks like this, cumbersome:
    but (cut and paste it from ‘view source’) it looks like this in the original:

    11:00 am

    That’s a lasting way to point to something — either click the timestamp, “copy link” and paste that back in, or notice the timestamp, do ‘view source’ and find that exact time, and copy and paste _that_ in. Either works.

    Why? Because, er, it’s an alternative to madness (wry grin). Mine, anyhow. Or any later reader’s ….
    One of the oddest things about the climate change sites is the way response numbers get to be wrong after people discuss them. The reasons are diffferent, the results are different, the effect is equally disabling.

    — climateaudit’s: postings get deleted after they’re made, so you can find yourself at response 200 reading a reference to a previous posting where someone says “in response 205, soandso said …” (because five people’s postings have been deleted since and the topic numbers changed by subtraction).
    — realclimate’s, where a reference to ‘response 20’ may now refer to content in someone’s posting renumbered 25 because postings had been held in the queue that were subsequently approved and inserted in timestammp order, and all the following response numbers changed by addition.

    Editors have to make editorial choices, fine — but having the comment numbers change after the fact as a result is a disastrous result in both approaches.

    It’s a babel effect, it means subsequent readers will have trouble following any conversation a few weeks or months later.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Oct 2006 @ 1:07 AM

  63. A search on “solar conveyor cycle prediction” did not turn up the site.

    On a separate note, Stefan, the IPCC reports are not peer reviewed (rigorously or otherwise), the authors/editors solicit comments from from experts and governments, but are free to ignore them. Their reports should be included in the search, but lets not mischaracterize their nature.

    Comment by Martin Lewitt — 28 Oct 2006 @ 5:27 AM

  64. Like many of the “featured examples” linked at Google Co-op, you do not display the “Google Custom Search” graphic in your search box. According to Google’s Terms of Service (2.3 Attribution), it is supposed to be there. Do you have a separate TOS agreement that allows you to take it out? Nobody has provided a sufficient answer to this contradiction on the Google Co-op group board.

    Comment by Susan — 28 Oct 2006 @ 8:57 AM

  65. Is there a list of the allowed sources anywhere (there should be)

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 28 Oct 2006 @ 11:48 AM

  66. One thought — if you aren’t picking up postings made by Dr. Judith Curry during the period when she was posting at Climate Audit, then the search engine’s failing badly. She, I think, has quit posting there now. She did a very good job of presenting a scientific view of the issues discussed.
    I don’t know if that material is preserved anywhere else, or if CA’s editors will leave it available to be read permanently; they delete a lot after a while.

    It’d be a serious loss if her postings aren’t found and shown to people looking for good science writing in this area.

    I can’t evaluate anyone else’s postings there, but don’t lose Dr. Curry’s by omitting that site.
    There has to be a way to evaluate information by its author or content or item by item, rather than by website owner. Please.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Oct 2006 @ 12:37 PM

  67. re: [Response:It’s not cherry picking, but a kind of quality rubber stamp. Here you can be fairly safe that the contents have some quality, but you can always use other search engines if you want to a wider search. -rasmus]

    The intent obviously is to direct readers of this website, to search websites trusted by the authors of RealClimate. It is undeniably censorship, albeit on a small scale. You can say that that is good, or necessary, but the ultimate result of censorship is always reduced visibility of critique. I think that that reduces the credibility of your website. But it is a free internet and if that is the unintended consequence you are willing to trade for, then go right ahead.

    [Response: The intent obviously is to direct readers of this website, to search websites trusted by the authors of RealClimate. Yes, thats exactly the point. If you want to search without us, use google direct, you know where it is. We are offering a value-added service by limiting the search – William]

    Comment by John Norris — 28 Oct 2006 @ 1:26 PM

  68. John Norris’ post implies that a bibliography is censorship if it is not complete

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 28 Oct 2006 @ 5:28 PM

  69. I personally have developed a sort of negative wish list. Things I do not want to see after quite a bit of exposure to the like: anything by the clowns at the corporate supported outfits; a certain Pielke; the Tim Ball show; almost anyone who is found contesting with the Deltoid author; the mountains out of molehills continually contrived by the Bobsey twins and their sycophants. I have no idea what sort of filter would stop all that, but I am in favor, for sure.

    Comment by garhane — 30 Oct 2006 @ 8:12 PM

  70. So the Stern Report would not be worthy of inclusion in the search engine because it is not scientific? What of economics, policy and advocacy? Do they have any role in “RealClimate”? Sadly, many scientists think that doing something about climate change is less important than studying it.

    [Response:Sure it would. But there is an inevitable lag in adding topical stuff. -gavin]

    [Response:It is also worth pointing out that we currently list a number of other sites that do deal with economics, policy, etc. in our ‘blogroll’. Many of these sites have already provided extensive discussions of the ‘Stern Report’. It may take time for us to fully incorporate these and other such sites into our search option. -mike]

    Comment by Glen Barry — 31 Oct 2006 @ 6:58 AM

  71. Gavin and Mike,
    Thank you for your responses. My point was more broad than the ‘Stern Report’ being included in your search engine. It is a critique of what I consider RealClimate’s usually sterling efforts. Namely, that in deciding what is “scientific” and “credible” in the climate change debate that you not exclude those developing policy and advocacy strategies based upon sound science. Clearly we need to do more than study the issue and translate this into scientifically based solutions. My specific concern is that your search engine’s approach differs markedly from Climate Ark’s at and I think we offer a much more useful set of search results. We look forward to the competition in climate search and perhaps future collaboration as well. But not at the expense of considering and promoting solutions to global heating.
    Warm regards,
    Dr. Glen Barry

    Comment by Glen Barry — 3 Nov 2006 @ 9:50 AM

  72. I suggest, communicating science is the issue here, we need better ways of informing other scientists and society.

    What we know we know: Past climate has changed abruptly
    What we know we don’t know: How earth’s climate will react to increases in CO2 above present levels.
    what we don’t know we don’t know: an unknown feedback?
    what we don’t know we know: the up to date big picture.

    It strikes me, funding should be set aside to encourage scientists to publish where they think their science is at, right now, in forms a wide range of scientists and society can understand, instead of concentrating and being judged on their own specialist research.

    As we are witnessing our science is of little use, unless we can communicate it to society as a whole.

    a geologist’s view

    Comment by Peter Jackson — 5 Nov 2006 @ 7:38 AM

  73. Am I doing this right?

    I type “triana” in the Search box at the top of the page — nothing found.

    I type +realclimate +triana in a regular Google search and it finds the comments here mentioning that not-yet-launched satellite.

    [Response: Try again. It works for me (the realclimate discussion is about halfway down. -gavin]

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Nov 2006 @ 11:18 PM

  74. Gavin, this may be a bug in Firefox 2.0/OSX.–
    — Turning popups on doesn’t help — I get a blank page with the sidebar, but no search result.
    — Looking at ViewSource, no search result.
    I’ll report it as a page Firefox doesn’t handle and see if they come up with anything.

    [Response: It uses javascript to fill in the results, so check out the ‘Javascript’ console (under Tools) to see if you got an error. – gavin]

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Nov 2006 @ 11:26 AM

  75. Yep, works as it should using Firefox under Windows.
    Dang. OSXed again …

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Nov 2006 @ 4:41 PM

  76. Iam a spiritual man of the Chewampa tribe of central Australia with a great tradition of caring for the spirit of this Earth as we are one in the same. What continually surprises me are members of Earth’s society pretending to understand the spirit and actions of our mother planet. When will you scientists realise that your modern day science is flawed. You observe without seeing and you define with out knowing. your science has become a religion to you,except even the world’s religions have not had to fall on their own swords as much as science. You are proven wrong over and over again yet you think that analysis by disection and not by our way of proven intuition will bring you to the table of all knowing. How mis guided you all are!!!And how sorry I feel for the children that listen to you. You and your science have raped this land and have potentially murdered our spiritual future while your male ego driven attitudes blunder their way back to the dark ages. Our people world wide have warned you all of what is coming! You have disturbed ancient energy lines on the land and within our oceans and for that the serpent of life is restless and consequences of such is now inevitable. Our people have survived on this plain of existance for eternity,for we are one with spirit in which you are attempting to tame. Science is an ancient tradition, of which you and your collegues a mere novices. Be brave, be honest admit your uncertaintity for your advice will cost many their lives.

    Comment by Daniel Bear — 14 Nov 2006 @ 11:57 PM

  77. Re “Iam a spiritual man of the Chewampa tribe of central Australia with a great tradition of caring for the spirit of this Earth as we are one in the same.”

    Somehow I don’t think Australians would make the illiterate mistake of thinking “one and the same” is “one in the same.” I’ve only seen that particular mistake from Americans. The later reference to “male ego driven attitudes” is not very likely either, as Australian aborigines have a very clear division of labor by sex, and the males certainly consider themselves superior to the females (and likely vice versa). In short, I think you’re a fraud.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Nov 2006 @ 8:13 AM

  78. Perhaps they simply haven’t been discovered yet.

    I found mentions of a Steiff toy ‘Daniel Bear’ and a Daniel Bear of Australian Prime TV.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Nov 2006 @ 8:34 AM

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